[suggestionish] Guards and Workers With Names

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Watsons27
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[suggestionish] Guards and Workers With Names

Postby Watsons27 » Wed Feb 12, 2014 12:51 am

Will they have names?
Also stats would be cool. I remember back in the Roller Coaster Tycoon days I always enjoyed seeing how many lawns my handy man have mowed. It would be a cool to see how effective certain guards are... It could also lead to a way to spot lazy or corrupt workers.
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Re: [suggestionish] Guards and Workers With Names

Postby xander » Wed Feb 12, 2014 2:26 am

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Re: [suggestionish] Guards and Workers With Names

Postby nini » Wed Feb 12, 2014 9:22 am

Going with xander on this and adding this isn't one of those damn micromanaged nerdlinger Tycoon games.
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Re: [suggestionish] Guards and Workers With Names

Postby RichieGrape » Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:24 am

nini wrote: micromanaged nerdlinger Tycoon games.
lol without micromanagement its just a movie? wouldn't it be?
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Re: [suggestionish] Guards and Workers With Names

Postby nini » Wed Feb 12, 2014 12:43 pm

It'd certainly be an enjoyable experience, not an office work simulation so in some ways you're right.
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Re: [suggestionish] Guards and Workers With Names

Postby Raaaahman » Wed Feb 12, 2014 3:19 pm



Wut? "Mean system's officials don't deserve names" is pretty a non-sense when talking about humanity in the penitentiary environment. If the game is about thinking of morale vs efficiency, it needs to not have parts easy to sacrify.

I'll maybe have second thoughts about firing a named official, especially if he/she's here since the beginning of my prison. Actually, I have none with the meaningless robots they seem to be.
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Re: [suggestionish] Guards and Workers With Names

Postby nini » Wed Feb 12, 2014 4:19 pm

Raaaahman wrote:Wut? "Mean system's officials don't deserve names" is pretty a non-sense when talking about humanity in the penitentiary environment. If the game is about thinking of morale vs efficiency, it needs to not have parts easy to sacrify.

I'll maybe have second thoughts about firing a named official, especially if he/she's here since the beginning of my prison. Actually, I have none with the meaningless robots they seem to be.

I cannot unerstand what you write sometimes. Xander is right though, our interest as prison architects is in the prison inmates, the staff are there in an active role sure but they're as replaceable as a wall or door. Even if they have names, what does that give them? Are we more concerned for them? Do we need to be and if so why?
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Re: [suggestionish] Guards and Workers With Names

Postby xander » Wed Feb 12, 2014 4:29 pm

Raaaahman wrote:Wut? "Mean system's officials don't deserve names" is pretty a non-sense when talking about humanity in the penitentiary environment. If the game is about thinking of morale vs efficiency, it needs to not have parts easy to sacrify.

I honestly have no idea what this means. I literally cannot parse the text that you have written. Can you please explain what any of this means?

Raaaahman wrote:I'll maybe have second thoughts about firing a named official, especially if he/she's here since the beginning of my prison. Actually, I have none with the meaningless robots they seem to be.

This doesn't address any of the points that I made in the post to which I linked. My point was that making the narrative decision to emphasize the humanity of the prisoners and deemphasize the humanity of the staff is interesting, and that I, personally, like that emphasis. The whole point is that the current lack of individuated staff prevents the player from having second thoughts about firing any particular staff member or mourning for their deaths.

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Re: [suggestionish] Guards and Workers With Names

Postby Raaaahman » Thu Feb 13, 2014 3:48 pm

Uh uh, sorry. As english is not my mother tongue, I could have misread and seem to be making lots of mistakes.

Still, I understand and agree the emphasis on prisoners' human nature, and that staff are not as much at the core of the game. But it doesn't seem fair to me to deshumanize the staff members. I don't want to be taken by the hand by the dev for what I should think upon the penitentiary system. It's a lot more interesting to get a full view that may make me drawing my own conclusion, even if it's not what they thought in the development.

I wouldn't mind if staff don't have names in the final product. But to do so just so they become representation of the mean system that incarcerate people just feel wrong to me, especially in a game that tries to give player the free hand (I believe it is).

As an example, I would take Evil Genius: every of your faceless and expendables minions has is own name and his fluctuating loyalty (between other stats), so when a minion decided to desert, you get a message "Pedro Ramirez (or Marco Cinnati, or Bud Weiser or whatever...) is deserting your organisation". It doesn't move the gameplay by a inch, but giving them a name add a lot to the feeling that some weak and breakable human part of your evil conspiracy wasn't worth your trust. It was a lot more interesting then to choose to capture or to kill this particular individual.

In PA, if the security of your people ain't so much of a concern, them getting killed in a riot loose all of its drama IMO. Think of X-com, you wouldn't have cared to loose your soldier if you couldn't remember that this particular one heroically finished a disastrous mission that gets all his/her squad wiped.


If i'm unclear or mistaking again, please tell me the part you don't understand. I hope I could improve myself that way.
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Re: [suggestionish] Guards and Workers With Names

Postby nini » Thu Feb 13, 2014 4:43 pm

I don't think much of the comparisons you're drawing, in both situations your inmates were the minions and the soldiers as they're the core of the game, the ones you ultimately have control over and not the staff. The staff truly are meaningless, might not be fair but giving them names doesn't make me care about them at all. They don't need to be individuals because they're just commodities that are easily replaced. You lose a few in a riot? Get some more to replace the bodies and move on. Like Xander I think that's the right approach to take as your duty isn't to your staff but to your inmates, giving them anything more than they have right now be that names or stats is unnecessary and if anything would get in the way of effectively letting them guard because you're too concerned for them. Probably should be happy inmates have names even.
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Re: [suggestionish] Guards and Workers With Names

Postby xander » Thu Feb 13, 2014 6:24 pm

Raaaahman wrote:--==<snip>==--

It is a matter of emphasis. My feeling is that the more finely and completely drawn the staff are, the more emphasis they receive, and the less the humanity of the prisoners is shown. It isn't entirely a zero-sum game, but the stark difference between prisoners and staff is, I think, important.

I also think that it is disingenuous to state that it is possible to make an entirely objective game. No matter what the developers do, they are going to have opinions of their own, and those opinions are going to manifest themselves in their game design. Maybe Chris disagrees with my interpretation of the game, and he will personalize the staff quite a bit more. This puts a very different spin on how the player is lead to understand the prison system. In either case, I don't see it as the developer leading the player by the hand to a particular conclusion, nor do I see it as a violation of the player's ability to get a "full view" of the system (if such a thing is even possible---the cubist style that Picasso used was an attempt to see an object from all angles at once, for instance).

The canonical example, I think, is the original SimCity. There were complaints that the game's model forced players to use mass transit over roads in order to be successful, and that this was some kind of political statement. It may have been, but if the balance had fallen the other way, complaints would have been just as justified. The designers had to make a decision regarding the emphasis of the game. They chose one possible path. I see the decision to personalize staff (either way it falls) as a similar choice.

nini: That should be a little "x", not a big "X". ;)

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Re: [suggestionish] Guards and Workers With Names

Postby nini » Thu Feb 13, 2014 7:01 pm

xander wrote:nini: That should be a little "x", not a big "X". ;)

I just wanted to be grammatically correct! Fine, I'll make efforts to not captialise your name.
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Re: [suggestionish] Guards and Workers With Names

Postby Raaaahman » Thu Feb 13, 2014 7:29 pm

Good points here (except that in Evil Genius, "good" agents are just treated exactly as the minions, but it doesn't matter here).

I'd personally like the staff getting some names, and I understand now why you wouldn't. But with names, players could care or not about them, whereas we actually can't even remember who's who.

On another hand, I think the emphasis on the prisoners will be just as good as it already is since they got way more needs to satisfy. I believe that staff without their need to rest but with names will draw even less attention than they actually do.

Of course I understand that a game couldn't be 100% objective, but I like the actual freedom of aproach and I believe there's still room for a bit more (especially to overcome the gulag syndrom).
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Re: [suggestionish] Guards and Workers With Names

Postby The73rdMongol » Sat Feb 15, 2014 9:31 pm

While I think a comedy-focused Let's Play would benefit from the ability to name guards and staff (ie. "This is my star workman, Dale. Dale is having a ****ty day. Let's follow Dale for awhile. See you tomorrow, Dale." Et cetera) the game itself wouldn't, as the focus of the game is one that shifts your view from glorifying the staff to viewing the prisoners as just as important running components of your prison.
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Re: [suggestionish] Guards and Workers With Names

Postby Watsons27 » Sun Feb 16, 2014 6:44 pm

Maybe the whole staff system just has to be done. I don't understand why you would not want staff names. You might not currently care about the staff now because you can click them into existence and make them disappear. But if you look through a list of potential staff to hire i creates an honest coice of who you wAnt running the prison.I think the staff are just as important as prisoners. You can see the first move to make staff more human already with the staff room.

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